Endless queues, a protest and a shooting: Cape Town voters head to the polls


There was a long queue to vote at the Lutheran church in Mitchells Plain. (Lisalee Solomons/News24)


There was a long queue to vote at the Lutheran church in Mitchells Plain. (Lisalee Solomons/News24)

  • Western Cape voters have experienced some delays at voting stations. 
  • The police presence in Manenberg was bolstered after a shooting on Wednesday morning.
  • Authorities also reported a peaceful protest in Cape Town as the polls opened. 

Long queues, problems with voter management devices (VMDs) and a shooting on the Cape Flats have been just some of the incidents reported to the Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) on Wednesday.

The IEC’s Western Cape electoral officer, Michael Hendrickse, said not all voting stations in the province had opened on time on Wednesday morning.

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During a briefing at the IEC centre in Cape Town, Hendrickse said the last of the province’s 1 572 polling stations had opened by 07:45 on Wednesday.

The delay was reportedly due to the late arrival of staff.

Additional police were deployed to Manenberg on Wednesday morning after a shooting near a voting station.

Police spokesperson, Sergeant Wesley Twigg, said the shooting took place in Thames Walk. A 19-year-old man was killed.

“According to reports, the victim was standing in front of the house when he was approached by unknown suspects who shot him. The victim sustained gunshot wounds to his body and was declared deceased on the scene by medical personnel. The suspects fled the scene and are yet to be arrested,” he said.

Twigg said a case of murder was under investigation.

Volunteer marking voter's thumb with black ink

South Africans cast their votes on 29 May 2024. (GCIS/Supplied)

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Hendrickse said that police had increased their deployment in the area following the shooting and that it was calm.

He added that there was also protest action in Ocean View.

Twigg said that police had monitored a peaceful march on Wednesday morning, “where about 80 women and children were walking in support of Palestine”.

He said:

No police action was taken. The crowd dispersed peacefully.

Police said there had also been an early morning protest in Philippi.

Western Cape police commissioner, Lieutenant General Thembisile Patekile, said officers were out in full force to ensure that people could cast their votes in safety. He said a handful of protesters had taken to the streets in Philippi and burnt tyres in the area.

“Police dealt with the situation, and no one was arrested,” he added. 

“No threats have been reported and we will be keeping our eyes on the ground as millions head to the polls. We want to assure residents that the police’s top priority is to ensure their safety at voting stations.”

Other issues reported at voting stations included the VMDs not operating correctly, said Hendrickse.

Volunteer marking voter's thumb with black ink

South Africans cast their votes on 29 May 2024. (GCIS/Supplied)

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He added that staff had been briefed on how to reboot the VMDs. In cases where a reboot had not corrected the issue, staff had been instructed to use the hard copy voters’ roll.

He said that voting could still proceed, even if the VMD was not working and that the VMDs can also operate offline and upload the information when they reached connectivity.

Hendrickse added that at some voting stations, there had been reports that only one ballot box was in use. He added that this would not have an impact on voting, but may delay the counting of votes later.


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